Covid-19 cases may have eased in recent months and the third wave was not as severe as expected, but Covid related health insurance claims surged this fiscal, possibly led by the Delta variant. Insurers continue to remain under pressure despite increased awareness and purchase of such covers.
While there were 9.83 lakh Covid related claims in 2020-21, these surged to 19.47 lakh in the current fiscal, recording an increase of 98 per cent. As the second wave of the pandemic led to many cases of hospitalisation, Covid claims also increased dramatically. The average ticket size of Covid related claims across the industry also remains high at Rs. 91,881.
“Although there is greater awareness and purchase of health insurance policies, the premium remains at the same level as pre-Covid times. As an industry, the losses in the entire health portfolio are quite high and much more than what the industry has earned as premium,” said Bhaskar Nerurkar, Head, Health Claims, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, adding that non – Covid claims have also reached pre-pandemic levels and people are continuing with planned and elective surgeries.
“There is also increased awareness about Covid and health insurance, which has led to higher purchases of such policies, and in a way contributed to more claims,” noted another insurer.